Speaking of contemporary Japan, surrealism, and bright colors…

Here’s a beautiful, beautiful photo set using high dynamic range imaging to bring out the hypercolorful fantasy world that is today’s Tokyo. It’s like a very vivid dream.

I understand HDR photography is considered pretty tacky. Fair enough. These do look a little like blacklight posters. But it’s so rare and so wonderful to see someone actually nail what feels like the spirit of Tokyo – the same way gritty projector-reel film seems to nail NYC.

This actually ties in a little with what I was talking about regarding Japanese observation. There’s a wonderful quote in my new Akutagawa collection (thank you, Motor City Books!) about Akutagawa’s ability to distance himself and treat a normally awe-inspiring scene – something with fantastical elements, over-the-top action or reality-bending – with a sort of detached scientist’s attitude. To me these pictures speak with Akutagawa’s tongue.
And remember what I said about Murakami’s film-noir non-sequiturs? What better captures them than pictures like these, where the joke seems to be that there isn’t a joke?
Despite the flashiness, there is a sort of matter-of-factness to them – “This is Tokyo, you know,” they say, “and don’t be surprised if you come across a giant robot in the middle of a field.”
I love them.

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